Back to Journals » Nanotechnology, Science and Applications » Volume 10

Surface-functionalized cockle shell–based calcium carbonate aragonite polymorph as a drug nanocarrier

Authors Mohd Abd Ghafar SL, Hussein MZ, Rukayadi Y, Abu Bakar Zakaria MZ

Received 28 August 2016

Accepted for publication 19 December 2016

Published 16 May 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 79—94


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Israel (Rudi) Rubinstein

Syairah Liyana Mohd Abd Ghafar,1 Mohd Zobir Hussein,2 Yaya Rukayadi,1,3 Md Zuki Abu Bakar Zakaria1,4

1Institute of Bioscience, 2Institute of Advance Technology, 3Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, 4Department of Veterinary Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Abstract: Calcium carbonate aragonite polymorph nanoparticles derived from cockle shells were prepared using surface functionalization method followed by purification steps. Size, morphology, and surface properties of the nanoparticles were characterized using transmission electron microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, zetasizer, X-ray powder diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectrometry techniques. The potential of surface-functionalized calcium carbonate aragonite polymorph nanoparticle as a drug-delivery agent were assessed through in vitro drug-loading test and drug-release test. Transmission electron microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, and particle size distribution analyses revealed that size, morphology, and surface characterization had been improved after surface functionalization process. Zeta potential of the nanoparticles was found to be increased, thereby demonstrating better dispersion among the nanoparticles. Purification techniques showed a further improvement in the overall distribution of nanoparticles toward more refined size ranges <100 nm, which specifically favored drug-delivery applications. The purity of the aragonite phase and their chemical analyses were verified by X-ray powder diffraction and Fourier transform infrared spectrometry studies. In vitro biological response of hFOB 1.19 osteoblast cells showed that surface functionalization could improve the cytotoxicity of cockle shell–based calcium carbonate aragonite nanocarrier. The sample was also sensitive to pH changes and demonstrated good abilities to load and sustain in vitro drug. This study thus indicates that calcium carbonate aragonite polymorph nanoparticles derived from cockle shells, a natural biomaterial, with modified surface characteristics are promising and can be applied as efficient carriers for drug delivery.

Keywords: cockle shell, calcium carbonate, aragonite, surface functionalization, nanoparticle, drug delivery

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]